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How the #*&?!! do I learn C?

Posted on 1998-11-17
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Take a clue from the title: I'm pretty frustrated.  I'm trying to learn to program on my Mac and am having a hell of a time.  I've done some basic (*real* basic) Pascal programming on a 286 pc in my distant past, and have decided to go the c/c++ route--good or bad.  There is, however, a restriction on the paths to learning which are available to me.  I am broke.  I don't mean that I could grudgingly shell out $100 for the educational vers. of CodeWarrior.  I don't mean that I might be able to buy a $30 book--however good.  This will have to be for free.

Accordingly, I turned to Apple's developer site and checked out several hundred links to info on programming and their free MPW.  I have download all of MPW (GM and PR), every scrap of documentation I could find, as well as some other things like MacApp, Mops, etc. just in case.  I've also found quite a few online tutorials for c and c++, but of course their pc oriented (doesn't matter you say?  to the beginner it does.  the little differences you know about instinctively confuse the hell out of me.).  I've delved into the "Introduction to MPW" and can say that I've learn some things that will someday be useful, but I want to program in c.  I want to be able to follow along in the tutorials, write my Hello World programs and learn by doing.  I can't though, because the 2 pages of essentials I need to know to start programming is spread out amoung several 1000 pages of html and acrobat files.

My question is this:  How do I learn to program c/c++ on the Macintosh?

I'm looking for excellent web pages, downloadable quickstart docs, and direct advice.  Remember I've not one cent to spend.  I'm offering 50 points, because--for those who can answer this--this is a very easy question.  It is, of course, worth a lot to me, but so far the advice I've received from other forums has been pathetic.  I'm a quick learner who's comfortable with numbers and abstract, analytical thought, but I'd really appreciate sources who know how to explain things clearly and concisely.

If I'm pleased with your answer I'd be happy to give you more points, but for now forgive my lack of faith.
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Question by:heathenchild
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scrapdog earned 50 total points
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http://www.cm.cf.ac.uk/Dave/C/CE.html
Here is a list of places to start:


http://thor.prohosting.com/~bargy/
http://www.gustavo.net/programming/c.shtml
http://www.cit.ac.nz/smac/cprogram/
http://www2.ncsu.edu/eos/info/eos_info/tutorials/c/
http://members.tripod.com/~johnt/c.html
http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html
http://www.lysator.liu.se/c/index.html


You will have to look through these and see if they are useful to you.  Many of these tutorials are for ANSI C...that is, they aren't intended for one particular platform.  That would be the best way to learn if you are a complete beginner.

I don't think you need a tutorial specifically for the Macintosh...such a tutorial would differ from an ANSI C tutorial in that the Mac tutorial would probably focus more on system programming rather than on concepts, and that is definitely NOT what you want to do as a beginner.  ANSI C will run on any platform, be it Macintosh, Windows, DOS, Unix, etc.  If you have a C compiler, it will support ANSI C  (at least 95%).

First learn ANSI C, *THEN* learn programming for your particular system.  Learning C is a big first step...once you acheive it, then you can get picky with system specifics.

Some of the tutorials I posted above may or may not contain some system specific information...you will have to weed through it and judge whether or not it is useful to you or not.  Most likely, you can skip over any system specific information, since you will not be using it as a beginner.

After you become comfortable with C, you can check out this comprehensive C++ tutorial.  As far as I know, it is an ANSI C++ tutorial without system specifics...BUT, do not jump into ths one until you have a firm grasp of C, since it assumes that you know it well.

c++ tutorial:
http://www.icce.rug.nl/docs/cplusplus/cplusplus.html
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by:scrapdog
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oops, that first line (http://www.cm.cf.ac.uk/Dave/C/CE.html ) should be listed with the rest of them...

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by:heathenchild
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scrapdog,

thanks....  i've already seen most of the pages you suggested, but one that i hadn't seen really stuck out.  the first site you suggested (and later corrected) is great.  it's the kind of clear information i'm looking for.

it does not solve the key issue, though.  i realize, however, that i've probably not worded things right.  that fact along with the 1st url in your list justify giving you credit.

my main problem is that i cannot try out programs on my mac.  i have mpw--and therefore a c and c++ compiler (mrc and mrcp).  i should be able to follow along with the online c tutorials, but i don't know how to use the compiler well enough and don't know how to run my programs.

i'm posting another question that hopefully will be a little clearer.  feel free to answer if you can.
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by:heathenchild
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scrapdog,

thanks....  i've already seen most of the pages you suggested, but one that i hadn't seen really stuck out.  the first site you suggested (and later corrected) is great.  it's the kind of clear information i'm looking for.

it does not solve the key issue, though.  i realize, however, that i've probably not worded things right.  that fact along with the 1st url in your list justify giving you credit.

my main problem is that i cannot try out programs on my mac.  i have mpw--and therefore a c and c++ compiler (mrc and mrcp).  i should be able to follow along with the online c tutorials, but i don't know how to use the compiler well enough and don't know how to run my programs.

i'm posting another question that hopefully will be a little clearer.  feel free to answer if you can.
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